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International Round-Up: Pukki scores in Finland defeat

9 September 2019

Teemu Pukki scored his seventh goal of the season on Sunday night, but it wasn't enough for Finland as they were beaten 2-1 at home to Italy in European Championship qualifying.

Finland were aiming to spoil Italy's 100% record in Group J and strengthen their position in second place, which would see them qualify for EURO 2020.

Ciro Immobile had given the visitors a second-half advantage but Pukki was fouled in the box on 72 minutes and stepped up to stroke the resulting penalty down the middle of the goal and past Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Finland were left feeling hard done by at the end though as Italy took all three points when Nicolo Barella's shot struck Sauli Vaisanen's hand, leading to the referee controversially pointing to the spot.

Jorginho scored the spot-kick to extend Italy's winning run in the group to seven. Despite the defeat, Finland have a three point buffer over third-placed Armenia with four rounds of qualifiers to go.

The goal was Pukki's fifth in his last four internationals and his form will be crucial to Huuhkajat as they bid to qualify for their first-ever major tournament finals.

The first international break of the 2019-20 season as almost over and as many as nine City players are in action on Monday night.

England Under-21s will be looking to make it two from two in EURO 2021 qualifying when they host Kosovo at the KCOM Stadium in Hull (7.45pm). Ben Godfrey is set to captain the Young Lions, with Max Aarons and Todd Cantwell also hoping for some minutes.

In senior action, Jamal Lewis and Michael McGovern will be trying to aid Northern Ireland in extending their impressive start to qualifying. With four wins from four, they begin their second half of qualifiers against Germany at Windsor Park (7.45pm).

Scotland need a positive result against Belgium at Hampden Park (7.45pm) to keep their hopes of qualifying alive. Kenny McLean started in the bench in their previous qualifier against Russia and will be keen to impact from the start on Monday night.

In youth internationals, Dan Adshead (England U19s) and Archie Mair and Aidan Fitzpatrick (Scotland U19s) are in friendly action against Germany and Japan respectively.


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